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49ers paying Chip Kelly, Jim Tomsula, former assistants $69 million

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The San Francisco 49ers have gotten rid of three head coaches and coaching staffs in as many years, and that comes at a price. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reportedly said the 49ers owe $69 million to Chip Kelly, his coaching staff, the 49ers previous head coaches, and their coaching staffs.

This number seems a little high, particularly because the reference to multiple previous head coaches suggests they are still paying Jim Harbaugh. That seems unlikely since 2015 was the final year of his contract. But, the specific number is not really what matters. It is the fact that they are paying a large chunk of money to people they thought were the right hire, but clearly were not.

If you want to look at this from a positive perspective, we can say the 49ers have quickly taken responsibility and made changes, regardless of the cost. However, on the other hand, it also conveys a sense that the 49ers don’t really know what they are doing year-to-year, and instead are just doing anything and everything in hopes something will work out.

The decision to fire both Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly is a move in the right direction. I think Kelly could potentially succeed in the NFL, and I don’t think one year was enough time to assess him, given the roster. That being said, there really is a need for a complete overhaul of this organization. And as they say, sometimes you have to crack a few eggs to improve things.

But this also all should have happened last year. The 49ers should have fired Jim Tomsula and Trent Baalke and hit the re-set button in January of 2016. Instead, the franchise wasted a year and now we get to see what this version of a reset looks like. Of course, we are also dealing with some familiar faces involved in putting people in place with the reset. Jed York remains in charge of this and there is a good chance Paraag Marathe has a pertinent role in the coming process.

So, will we be looking at another big bill due in two or three years, or will the 49ers actually figure out something from their mistakes?